Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Editing a book and preparing for Assembly09

I am putting together a book focusing on three pioneer countries of the 1990s in digital networking (wired/wireless). The book focuses on 15-29 year olds in Japan, South Korea and Finland and shares very interesting hands-on examples of digital networking and how it is changing the work life as well as ways to spend spare time. It will be out next year! We will also be sharing quite a bit of research data and articles online. More about that later. One relevant / related data from comScore: "Social networking has become a mainstream online activity among all age groups, with 80 % of the total U.K. online population having visited a site in the category in May09. Penetration was highest amongst 25-34 year old Internet users, 89 % of whom visited the category during the month, followed by 15-24 year olds (86 %)."

"15-24 and 25-34 year olds averaging 5.4 hours per user per month compared with 3.7 hours per month among users age 55 and older. Social networking was the second most popular online activity in the U.K. based on average time spent per user (4.6 hours), trailing only instant messaging (8.6 hours)."

Age Profile of U.K. Social Networking Site Category Visitors
May 2009
Total U.K., Age 15+ - Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore World Metrix
Age Segment % Reach Average Hours per Visitor
Total U.K. Internet Audience 80% 4.6
Persons: 15-24 86% 5.4
Persons: 25-34 89% 5.4
Persons: 35-44 79% 4.3
Persons: 45-54 77% 3.9
Persons: 55+ 67% 3.7

*Excludes Internet activity from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

This is also interesting: "Kids from two to 11 years of age are spending 63 percent more time online than they did five years ago, says a report released Monday from Nielsen Online. Children in that age range were online an average of 11 hours in May 2009 versus just 7 hours in May 2004." (Source: Nielsen/Cnet)

I am also preparing for Assembly09 which is just nine days away. I (together with the Paf crew) have been putting together concept & prototyping competition. I am especially hoping that women will see that competition as an opportunity. A prototype of a game is always a bonus but not a must. All in all -- Assembly is really fantastic event, I would recommend anyone just to check it out. It is quite pricey (35 euros) but there is lots of things happening, concerts and dj sessions every night etc. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A cup of coffee and some exergaming in South Korea

Five years ago I was in the lead of a research project titled Exergame at the Technical Research Centre of Finland. Back then we estimated that exergames will become a big business within the next 5 years. Our guessing came true. Nintendo Wii is one of the most exposed example of it. Then again I would say that Wii is just a start. I am expecting to see more exergame innovations appearing especially for mobile terminals. Smart phones and iPhone has changed the idea of a cellular phone and with cheaper components phone manufacturers can integrate gyroscopes and measument techniques into portable devices. Naturally things will also evolve in pc and console gaming. Sony and Microsoft (Natal) are behind Nintendo but still already far away in developing their own motion control solutions for games.

Within the last few days exergaming has been on the headlines around the world. In Finland playful Move and Play exhibition is currently on at Heureka science center in Vantaa, Korean Arirang today tv show had an interesting story on Xergames (click the link & register to see the video starting at 40:45). Additionally Nintendo will launch Wii Sports Resort shortly (at Times Square in NY). I also received a press release claiming that: "Kids as young as three years old are picking up the joysticks and clicking away at computers, especially if they have older siblings whom they wish to emulate. It's important to catch kids at an early age to teach them about fitness". My Gym promotes children's fitness centres in the US and provides information regarding nutrition and everyday exercise. Basically My Gym and exergames have the same goal and somewhat similar means to reach the goal -- being: positive feedback, easy access, casual exercise, playful and fun context, self-acting state, instant feedback and measuring performance.

I am happy to be a part (or additional power behind the scenes) of a R&D project focusing on novel exergame solutions. The project is run by MoFun (the creator of Circus game) and Technical Research Centre of Finland. I also heard that social gaming initiative is about to start in Finland. Even though it focuses more on social gaming for adults than actual fitness gaming or exergaming -- I am sure you cannot 100% separate those from each other. I will write more about the initiative as soon as it is up and running.